Standing up for nature and delivering change

The statistics keep on coming saying the same thing. Nature is in trouble. Habitat lost. Species in decline.

The statistics paint a gloomy picture of change. A change that is affecting the very fabric of our natural environment. The steady march of progress, our hunger for consumption and our hungry diet is stripping nature bare. And it’s been happening on our watch.

Our natural link to nature has also declined. We’ve become unplugged from the changing of the seasons as we consume a digital diet. We love reading about nature or watching programmes about it but it feels alien to our every-day lives; as though we have to go out ‘there’ to experience nature.

And yet we need nature. Nature provides a tonic. A counter to the stresses and strains of every- day life. Nature provides us with a canvass of beauty and a sense of wonder. The natural world is pretty fundamental to the ticking of our biological clocks.

Nature needs us too. Before it’s too late. It’s in our gift to make the changes and change our ways. And we need this to happen as it’s the stuff of life. We need the natural world to function. To use the jargon ecosystems are pretty fundamental to human existence – soil, water etc.

And now comes the hard part. We can’t keep passing tipping points. We have to act. As individuals, as society. Government and business to needs to look at how our behaviour affects nature. Yes there are ‘win-win’ situations but sometimes the reality is that we need to stop doing something for nature to benefit.

I don’t want to be part of the generation that sat on its hands as the natural world spiralled in to terminal decline. A natural revolution is possible. And things are changing.

The state of nature coalition is a really good start. It’s put the marker in the sand. It’s not looking good out there for the bees and birds. We need action. Words and platitudes can be well meaning but we need action on the ground, at the sharp end. We need politicians, civic society, business leaders to be bold and brave and start delivering real change.

Work is happening to get kids into nature. Communities are coming together to care for green spaces and wildlife sites. The conservation sector, the National Trust, RSPB, Wildlife Trusts, Woodland Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Buglife (the list goes on) is working more effectively together. Business is rolling up its sleeves and showing how the economy and environment are mutually exclusive.

We now need to move out of second gear and go through the gears to produce big change. We can improve the state of nature. It’s in our hands.

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